Sunday, December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
(from over the rivers and through the woods)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Stories

I was telling the sheep the Christmas Story the other day as they were munching on their hay.  I told them about how important the sheep were in the story of the Christ Child's birth and how the shepherds took them to see the Baby.  I told them the sheep probably even helped keep everybody warm in the stable that was like their barn.

I decided Not to tell the geese about their ancestors roll in the Christmas stories.  Maybe though, they would be proud of all the people that were fed Christmas goose, as long as I don't tell them it is still a tradition.

I can't think of any Christmas story, off hand, about chickens.  Just as well, the chickens don't come to me and gaze into my eyes like they are looking for a story.  

Stories are important and story tellers.  What if the stories of Christ's birth had not been passed down.  

I like stories that you get to hear over and over by many story tellers, who all embellish their favorite parts of the story.  It doesn't matter if all the details are correct or if many facets are deliberately skewed to tell a different story.

When Wednesday and Lyndy were growing up we certainly read and told our share of stories.  Lyndy always seemed to be very interested in the characters, more than what happened in the story.  I guess I feel that way about The Christmas Story; I don't care what time of year Christ was born, I don't care what the timing was of the shepherds visit or the wisemen.  I am just glad to hear the story.

Susan Kerr, wrote a chapter, in her book Intersections of Grace, entitled, "Coffee with the Nativity".  She put out her nativity set and each morning invited a different piece of the nativity to have coffee with her so she could ask them about how they felt in their role in The Christmas Story.

I love all the other Christmas stories too.  Maybe I will dig out a few to read through the Christmas season.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Perfect Bite

One of our holiday traditions is the "Perfect Bite".

The perfect bite is when you sneak into the kitchen just before the meal is ready to be served and you load up one fork with previews of the dinner to come; a good example is: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and maybe a slurp of cranberry sauce and into your mouth for a slow savor, um um.

I never know if it tastes so good because of all the combinations, or if it is just the "long awaited" first bite.  Often, one person loads up the fork and feeds it to another.  That too might be why is tastes so incredible.  My mouth is watering just writing about the "perfect bite".

The sheep at Cabin Spring Farm have the same tradition except it is not reserved for holidays.  Every time I go out to feed the sheep some hay, they get so excited.  Amelia always wants to help me get the hay.  She tries to open the gate with her foot.  I tell her, " thanks, but I can get it".  I load up with 3-4 flakes of hay and walk back to the gate.  I try to open the gate while they are pushing against it but eventually they step back enough for me to squeeze in.  And then, everyone but Zorra, comes over for the perfect bite.  I stay still for a few seconds and hold on tight to the hay.  Once they have all grabbed a bite and are chewing, I walk to the hay feeder to unload the rest of the hay, feeding Zorra (at the end) first, since she has not yet had any.

So, is it the long awaited first bite or the fact that I am feeding them, that makes the bite at the gate, the perfect bite?  It can't be the combination of foods, since it is all just hay (no gravy).

I get a similar reaction from the geese.  They like to take a few blades of hay while I am fastening the bungy on the inside of the goose run.  Unfortunately, the geese don't then go over to their bowls.  Instead, I have to walk in carefully, trying not to step on any feet.  Once the bowls are filled, all is quiet and I can go get some fresh water.  The geese also consider the first bite of hay under the hay feeders ( that they have driven the sheep from) another perfect bite. Or is that "the grass is greener" if you get it from someone else's stash.

I don't think the chickens get the concept of "the perfect bite".

Saturday, December 17, 2016


This was the morning sky when I woke up yesterday.  It was 17 degrees but the wind had died down so it didn't feel too bad to me.

It was so quiet that you could hear all the little noises, like you hear when you ride up a ski lift and there is a crack of a branch or a a gust of wind blowing by, or a porcupine in a tree.  One sound I heard yesterday, was  when one of theses sheep 

pushed into the cattle panel to get another bite of hay.  It was a metal on metal high pitched whining that carried through the thin air like on the chairlift.  The geese weren't even chortling or the chickens cooing?  

I love when everything goes right like 5 sheep grazing at this hay feeder and 4 at the one above; no crowding or pushing and the trough heater is working.

On these cold mornings, the chickens are in NO hurry to come out.  Note the black hen in the coop 15 minutes or so after I opened the coop.  

AH, so quiet and beautiful....  And then I let the geese out and the scene changed.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Reciprocity is the word I have picked for 2017.

A few years ago, Gail told me about the idea of living with one special word for a whole year.  About now you contemplate which word you might choose.  Then you focus on your word in different ways and bring it fully into your life.  There is actually a website that talks about it a little more but it does not seem to be very active now. 

One of the suggestions for living with your word is to have a group of friends do this simultaneously, each with their own word.  Then you check in with each other and support each other.  There may be 3 of us going off on this venture come January, so if anyone else wants to join, let me know.

Reciprocity has been calling to me since I began reading  Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  It just jumped out in front of me and asked me to take it home.  I have brought it home and now I will live with it for a year before I find a new home for this word.

Reciprocity is a word that I have really just become acquainted with but I am finding that many of my near and dear friends know her quite well.  I am very excited to get to be comrades on a year's journey.  Where will we go?  How will it be living so closely?   Will she be chatty or quiet?  How long will it take to become really acquainted?  Will we become good friends?  These are some of the questions I have now.  Meanwhile, I guess I should prepare a place for Reciprocity to reside.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Winter is Coming.....

I read that Ernest Hemingway, before sitting to write a new novel, would spend hours peeling oranges and gazing into the fire.  He said he was preparing his soul to write.  No wonder he was such a good writer.  I think I should get some oranges and try this.

Meanwhile, let's see what comes out after eating popcorn.  I do have a nice warm fire to look into.  Today seemed very cold.  I think the temperature only got to about 35 or 36 degrees.  The day started out at 17 or so.  The animals don't seem to mind as long as they have good food to eat.

  I put extra straw in the run and plunged in the geese water bucket.  I put up the winter panels on the chicken coop.  I made sure the heater was working in the sheep water trough.  The other night when it was windy as well, I closed the doors on the north side of the barn.  I guess we are ready for winter.
I am SO glad I am not hauling buckets of hot water from the house to the barn like the first winter.

When I was first starting out as a sheep farmer, I read forums where others were also raising sheep.  All I remember were the accounts of women in Montana or Minnesota with sick sheep hundreds of miles from a vet with howling wind and below freezing temperatures.  Maybe that is why I haven't gone back to that forum in years.

  I need to check in with my neighbor who just got 3 goats.  He is new to farming and was converting an old shed into a goat barn.  I hope he got most of that project done, Karen says goats don't like the cold or is it just cold rain and snow?  He has a wife and four  kids and a dog so I guess a few goats in the house wouldn't be too bad.  He has a fine chicken coop but I am not sure where the pigs hang out in the cold.  Ah, winter farming.

I want to build a solar heater for the fiber shed.  From what I have read, they do work, and I need a new project.  Oh, but I am not finished with the woven bird house and I am doing a quilt sample, with multi textures using wool as well as cotton, for a talk at a local quilting group meeting in January.  But I did finish Lyndy's couch (picture soon). And if I got the fiber shed warmer, I could do more projects out there  instead of bringing them into the house.  I do like my spinning wheel in the house for the winter but any more than that makes too much clutter.

I love winter but it does take a few days like we have had this week to get me ready.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

More Reflections

I have been taking my camera down to the barnyard more, lately-- actually, when I saw the reflection in the puddle pond (Dec.6th post) I went up to the house to get my camera.

 I am often disappointed when things are so incredibly beautiful in real time with the human eye and then a photo, of same, does not reflect the amazingness.  Occasionally you get an interesting illusion or some interesting angle or special effect but that is not the same.  Actually, I like both.

Last summer, a photographer friend of Beverly's showed us some photos of reflections he took that were incredible!  I have been noting reflections, from a photographic stand point, ever since.  That awakening, I think, is what it is all about.  I think reflections are God's way of encouraging us to pay attention to what is around us.  Why else would the trees and barns be upside down.

 One of the perks of living in a "just right house" must be a greater awareness of the natural beauty that surrounds us and a sense of peace.  That is my hope for Lyndy.  Actually, Lyndy is one who is already in awe of nature but one can never be too full.

The last time I visited the tiny house, I was reflecting on ALL the hours of working, imagining, and dreaming,  that went in to that build.  One of our jobs, this last time, was to reinstall the skylight in the sleeping loft that was taken out for transporting.  Now Lyndy can study an upside down tree and reflect.

Reflections December 2016

December is always a time of reflection so here are my reflections.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crystals and Feathers, Shadows and Light

I'm loving my morning time when all the animals are eating breakfast (in their own places) and I am waiting for the sheep to finish so I can let the geese out.

I looked up to the pastures and this is what I saw-- crystals!

This picture, though altered, is more what my eyes saw.  The scene reminded me of a road trip Rosemary and I took once where we hunted for crystals in Arkansas.
The geese drop feathers everywhere but I never noticed them like I did that morning I took this picture.

Some mornings, the sun is just coming up when I get down to the animals.  Look how long the shadows of these locust trees are.  And check out how the shadows go across the sheep and up the side of the garage/barn.

The sun was reflecting off the ice of the puddle pond 

 and outlining the sheep as they went off to the pasture.  This picture is fun to study from different angles where the background is darkened.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Over the Mountain

What's missing in this picture?  Oh I know, the tiny house that has been sitting under the hickory tree for a year and a half.

 The tiny house moved to Albemarle county November 19th.  For the trip, I drove lead, followed by the tiny house, then John, and then the nervous homeowner.  It was so wonderful looking in my rearview mirror and seeing the tiny house roll along with such confidence.  The sight was very emotional for me.

This is the new location for this lovely home.  Such a sweet  spot.

It really is a home now as you can see.

Gramma approves

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The First Gift - Extended Practice of My Meditation

Standing in the sun, listening  to the sheep eat their morning hay, all is quiet.

The new morning routine is: get the sheep their hay first, put some hay in the goose run, let the chickens out to go eat the grain  I have put out for them, clean the water buckets, and then stand in the morning sun and be thankful.

Yesterday, I realized that there was a better way to distribute the hay between the two hay feeders.  This morning there was less moving of the sheep back and forth and in turn a greater sense of peace.  And then there was a sharp "crack".   The sheep moved away from the hay feeder and looked to one direction.  It happened a few times more, so I said I would go investigate.  It didn't take long to realize that the sharp sound was made by hickory nuts hitting the roof of the tiny house and the tractor lean-to.  The chickens were peacefully eating their grain (they had already figured it out).  As I stood under the exquisite hickory, I watched the leaves fluttering down.  In my new meditative state, I noticed that the greener leaves flutter/fell at a swifter rate than the yellow.  Hickory trees have divided leaves so what was fluttering for the most part were leaflets.  Occasionally a whole leaf would glide to the ground.

I went back to report to the sheep and let the geese out as the sheep had finished their hay.

 Frost on the roof and on the tiny pumpkin on the front porch.  The "just right house" , as Lyndy call it, is scheduled to move this week.  We are all so very excited!

These pictures don't really capture the moment, but I think they catch some of the morning motion.

   Thanks to the geese motivating me to arrange the morning routine differently, I now have a time to more fully practice my meditation. 

I follow Paulo Coelho's blog and here is the latest.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Peace or Chaos

Yesterday morning I gave the sheep some hay for the first time this season.  What craziness.  The geese were out so they chased the sheep away from one hay feeder to the other and then went over to the other to harass the sheep again.  The motion was like a tornado.

 I finally got the geese to go through the gate, except Prince.  I thought, "oh well one goose won't attack".  Ha, he did.  Finally, I cornered him and took him to where the other geese were.

The animals all move around each other pretty well most of the time, unless food is involved.  And if it is grain in feed bowls the geese are content to have one, but yesterday was chaotic and dangerous.

This morning I hosted a womans' group from church.  After all but Chris had left, I told her about the scene of yesterday morning.  Chris has horses and had earlier been talking about her relationship with her horses.  We strategized and I said I could feed the geese in their run while the sheep had their hay but this would mean waiting for the sheep to finish to let the geese out, (maybe 20 minutes).  Chris reminded me that this was a gift from the geese to give me a time to hang out with the animals or just be in the moment and get ready for the day to come.

A little while ago, I was reading a message, forwarded from a friend, written by a spiritual worker. In the message, she said she woke up this morning to bird songs before she heard the results of the election.  Basically, she said it was the bird songs that were important.  In this time of uncertainty, she suggested staying in touch  with the world we know that supports us.

Leave the worry and anxiety to others and maybe with our inner peace we can feed others.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Animal Joy

Back from the southwest and a life of leisure.  We saw so many amazing incredible sights and couldn't get over how MUCH uninhabited land there is in this country.  If anyone is looking for a new home after next Tuesday and don't want to move out of the country, call me and I will give you some ideas of where you can go to get away from everything.

The whole week we were gone I only saw one sheep and a few cattle farms.  We saw a sign that said, "watch for deer next 37 miles" and another that said tortoise crossing", but we saw no deer and no tortoises.  We did see a few elk and a few buffalo.  We ate at a couple of restaurants that welcomed dogs on the patio.  We have a few restaurants here that allow dogs outside but these places had dog bowls and even served dog lunches and 1/2 off lunches if the dogs were in costume for Halloween (Karen's kind of place).

Now we are home where there are 9 sheep, 5 geese, and 4 chickens.  Whenever we go away and come back, I think about how good the animals have it here.  They may not realize this because only a few have lived anywhere else and they probably don't remember previous homes.

On the way down to the barn this afternoon, I saw one of those black and brown caterpillars that are suppose to indicate what kind of winter we are in for.  I forget which color is for mild and which is for harsh.  Some say you go by which color is prominent.  Some even say that winter starts out the way of the first color and then changes to correspond with the next color on the caterpillar.  I have seen these critters in various color combinations; sometimes front and back are brown with black in the middle, sometime vice versa, sometimes half and half.  Today's caterpillar was all black.  What does that mean??

Today, while I was helping with birdseed pickup, we were watching the migrating birds swirling around.   While we waited for people to come for their seed, we shared "squirrels stealing birdseed stories".    Animals bring so much joy.

The photo above was taken at Redrock Canyon Nevada where the tortoises live.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lyndy's New Couch

This is the couch I made from the Habitat chair.  Now I am making the cushions for it.  The webbing is fire hose (nice stuff) this one is not too stiff and heavy.  

Our new couch and chair were delivered so now I can take the old couch and chair apart.  I hope this works well.  The couch doesn't have arms because it is going to line up with a table (also of fire hose webbing) to make a guest bed.  Everything in a tiny house has to do at least two things.  Lyndy has done a great job designing this house; with help from John of course.  

I hope either the couch or Lyndy's danish chair, is comfortable, in the end. The only other thing to sit on is a couple of folding chairs, which are actually pretty comfortable, and my favorite spot, the steps to the loft.    I hope I can finish this by Tuesday.   

Monday, October 17, 2016

Laying in the "Hammock between Over and Next"

In an interview on NPR, Norman Lear (93 years old) was asked if he had a couple of words of wisdom and he replied, "Over and Next".  He said if you could lay in a hammock between over and next it would be about as close as you could get to living in the moment.

That's where I was this afternoon.  The sheep had there 1st day of their annual retreat leaving the barnyard and pastures to hangout at the cabin.  I sat in the chair in the barnyard looking at the clouds.

When I was a child, I loved laying in the grass looking up to a blue sky filled with puffy clouds, seeing what animals and other shapes blew by.  Today, I sat in a chair because a barnyard isn't the same as a grassy lawn.  I looked up and what did I see?, I saw a goose and a sheep.  The goose had a top thing on its head like a roadrunner, but definitely goose feet and bill.  The sheep was as round as the ones in the cabin lawn.

What a quiet carefree day, until a walnut would fall from the great walnut tree and fall on the cabin's metal roof.  The temperature was perfect accompanied by a warm gentle breeze.  I LOVE the clear sounds and freshness of fall.

Yesterday is OVER.  I hiked with a bunch of people with weather more perfect than today.  We followed the St. Mary's River in the St. Mary's National Wilderness.  The trees are finally beginning to turn and the sweet birch are orange.  When you break a small twig and chew on it, you can smell and taste spearmint.  We hiked 6 miles and the 4th mile nearly took me out.  Three of us were coming down ahead of the others and decided to take a different trail to avoid some of the creek crossings.  That we did, but we found ourselves on ledges testing roots and small stones for hand and foot holds.  The concentration needed to keep us from sliding down the bank into the shallow river, gave a new meaning to "living in the moment".  Now that is OVER and I look forward to NEXT.

A couple of  years ago, I was part of an after school program at the local middle school.  The first part of the program was homework help.  This was followed by opportunities, presented by community folk, to explore all kinds of  interests that might be meaningful to that age group.  The program was appropriately named NEXT.  We would say, "see you next time" and the kids were alway encouraged to think about what might come next for them.  This is huge for some of the kids in this county who have never allowed themselves to think they might have a different future than their parents.  What is my NEXT?

I have many possibilities, one of which is fly fishing.  I was going to take it up just before I broke my ankle a few years ago and now I have a new exciting opportunity to try it again.   But alas, that is a topic for next time.

I was talking to one of my most faithful blog followers the other day and I told her that I hadn't been blogging as much because of the difficulties of uploading pictures when I changed my operating system.  I said I didn't think anyone wanted to hear me ramble on.  She said she liked both sides of my blogging, so  ... this is for you Jen. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tiny House October 2016

Can't wait to see the rail and balusters adorned with greens at Christmas.

Gramma gives her approval. The refrigerator goes where this broom and dust pan are in this picture.

The linen box before the lid.  See the cat walk.

kitchen draws and soapstone counter ... and wait there is more.

Who says a tiny house has to have a tiny sink.

The broom and mop closet has a lot of room for a tiny closet.  The tiny house will be moving soon-- can't wait to see it furnished.

Friday, September 30, 2016


The last 24 hours has brought 4-5" of rain.  It has been pretty manageable here but Buffalo Creek is VERY high.  

I have always wished we had a creek going through the property here.  Once in awhile, when it rains very hard, the little washes on the east and west boundaries get to moving.  Today, when I opened the door, I could hear rushing water to the east and when I went over by the fiber shed I could hear the west branch.  The rush called to me so I went for a walk.  The sheep and geese acted as if it was just another day.

Here is the wash that is on the east side of the spring.  The spring didn't actually seem to be too influenced by the rain.

 This picture below is where the west wash has come over, at the bottom of the property to join the east wash.

All of the tributaries around here go into Buffalo Creek.  A few times a year, the creek goes over the low water bridge.

No crossing today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Fall Visitor

Now that my fiber studio is all picked up and organized and the weather is that of fall, it is a pleasure to work for hours.  That is what I was doing today when I heard a big racket right behind the studio.

 At first I thought it was the squirrel that runs around all over the sides of the building.  But when I went to investigate, it was a black bear.  It was apparently trying to get some rainwater out of one of the tubs that I wash fleece in.  We studied each other for a few minutes from a bit of a distance, and then the bear walked off into the woods and I went back to work.

Later one of the hens was cackling an alert of some kind so I went down to the barnyard.  The sheep ran up into the upper pasture and then looked over to the barn and the geese were quiet by the gate.  I looked up to the barn and there was the bear again, it had climbed over one of the fences.  The bear picked up one of the full green buckets in its mouth and carried it about 5 feet before dropping and spilling the water.  It then went over to the big tub to get a drink.  When it reappeared John yelled at it and clapped his hands.  The bear went up behind the barn out of our sight and the sheep came down from the pasture and no longer seemed concerned.  John and I went back to work and and a few minutes later Donald (the rooster) decided it was O.K. to crow.

It is interesting how quiet everyone gets when an intruder comes around.  I hope the bear doesn't use the big tub as a source of water.  I could empty that but then there is the puddle pond and of course the sheep water trough.  Maybe the bear will disappear as the bobcats did.  We know there are bear all around but we rarely see them.  It was a beautiful animal and not real big; a little bigger than Gretta and Mira and heavier looking.  Of course I did not have my camera, but if it comes around again soon, I will.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

She Will Be Missed

Today, was a quiet, dreary day, the perfect day to lay to rest, Kitty Tilson, my wonderful neighbor (see June 1, 2016 blog).  She really was a special person.

It was good to see all of Kitty's family again, though most of them live pretty close.  The official goodbye was a simple grave side ceremony lead by her niece, Anne, another neighbor.  Anne read the scripture about feeding the 500.  She talked about Kitty alway bringing bread to the picnics by the pond and about all the baskets she made.  And she talked about how there was always more that Kitty gave out, all true.

I hadn't seen Kitty in a few weeks and  guess I knew she was nearing the end of her life but didn't take the time to see her one more time.   I kept planning on going to see her but I never got there. Selfishly, I can now remember how she looked when we last laughed together, without having to let time pass first.  Kitty had a spectacular smile.  She had a wonderful doting family so she was never alone these last few months.

Kitty's daughter and son-in-law (Bob and Susan) are going to move in to Kitty's house full time when they sell there other home.  I wonder how that will be different.  Susan was telling us today about when she was young and caught the school bus by our mail box.  That is a pretty good walk for young children, especially at the end of the day going uphill with guineas chasing you.  Apparently, the lady who lived in the cabin here, had guineas.  Always fun to hear stories about the cabin since we know so little of its history.    Good to know Susan is a good story teller, like her mom.

There were many questions about Lyndy's tiny house, when we went up to visit after the service;  how much longer, where is it going?  Susan and Bob had the tour several weeks ago but many of the neighbors have not yet made it over.  Funny how much time can go by that we don't get to the things that we plan.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Halfway Through September

Red caught a mouse today.  That would not be unusual if Red was a cat or a snake, but Red is a hen.

 I didn't know chickens ate mice.  There was some rustling in some weeds and out came Red with a mouse in her beak.  She whapped the mouse several times on the ground and then checked to see if the mouse was dead.  Not quite, so she repeated this again and then she swallowed the mouse whole.

I was mesmerized; such a big mouse for a tiny throat, though the mouse was fairly small.  The chickens come up to John's salsa garden and pick tomatoes, or at least the big black hen does.  Then she takes them around to the front of the house to eat them.  I never know what the chickens are going to like, food wise.

Because I don't give the sheep much grain, it got clumpy with mealy worm webs.  I have broken up some of the clumps but I think I will give the rest to the chickens, now that the full moon supplements have been given and the hooves are done.

Cody, the strong young man mentioned earlier, came over to help me trim hooves yesterday morning.  He has sheep and goats and knows how to handle them.  He has had some expert training with hooves trimming, as well, and taught me a few things.  It was also just enjoyable talking to him about his animals.

The weather has been fine, the last couple of days, so I have returned to my fiber studio.  YAY! I have been getting ready for Fall Farm Day tomorrow.   Then I have to get back to weaving the bird house because Mountain Days is just around the corner.  

The Tiny house is really looking like a home.  Pictures soon.  Maybe I will even try to take a few pics tomorrow at Fall Farm Day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Last Chance Before September is Here

I keep telling myself that I am going to get back to writing but it just doesn't happen.  It is funny, I read my friend Karen's blog about taking a vacation for a day from what you do, not where you are and I had the same feeling the same day.   This is when I believe in astrology and misaligned stars.

It is nice when you can just allow yourself to do nothing and not feel guilty, a rare occurrence.  What was even stranger was that I ended up accomplishing a lot that day before it was over.  I guess I just needed to know I could take the time off.

So what have I been up to here?  I have been making a table and couch for the tiny house.  The other day I bought a $5 chair for $4 at the Habitat Store, for parts.  Today I took it apart and figured out how I want to use it to put the couch together.  Now, I just have to buy a few extra parts and put it all together.  I think I will run it by Lyndy first, this weekend.

I have been practicing drawing eclipses as my drawing course gets more difficult.  I can't wait till we get more to nature stuff instead of all the still life drawing.  I have been weaving a birdhouse.  I did a dye pot with some tansy Elizabeth gave me but I am not sure I like the color.  I dredged the puddle pond again and put the sludge on one of the hugels.

I trimmed eight hooves but that didn't go so well.  I have decided it is time to elicit some help from a strong young man I know.

Then there is the regular stuff.  The weather has been hot so not too much fiber work, besides the little weaving.

It doesn't seem like that is enough but oh well.  I am sure September will be more productive and there will be lots to write about.  I started writing this blog to keep track of what is happening on the farm and sometime there just isn't that much going on.

Friday, August 26, 2016

For Katie

A friend of mine died unexpectedly, on Wednesday.  She was a walking buddy.  I know I have mentioned her before.  She is the one who was the mushroom expert and the one who has published several books, some on wild edibles.  She was going to come over and remind me of the wild plants on my property that I should be enjoying but alas she won't be able to now.

Katie has lived in Lexington most of her life and knew everyone.  But she didn't treat you any differently, if you just moved to the area.  She liked most people except a few that she would talk about on our walks.  It seemed to always be around food that she didn't like them, hum.

She walked more days than I did, unless she was traveling somewhere, which she did every chance she got.  She went to Mexico every winter for a few weeks and just recently returned from Belize.  She enjoyed every place she visited, and I especially enjoyed our walks when she would return from wherever.  I wonder if her husband will travel now?

Katie could spot an edible mushroom a hundred feet away up  a steep bank and she would climb up after them.  She picked wild mustard on our walks and would invite us all over, after the walk, to eat them steamed with butter and lemon.

Katie volunteered with Hospice and the Habitat Store and probably in other places I did't know about.

Katie had been in so much pain lately due to some misaligned discs in her back.  Her back pain had flared up several times in the time I have known her but she walked through it whenever she could.   She had become so discouraged lately because she couldn't enjoy life without moving and doing.

When Beverly moved, there were 5 of us walking, now with Katie gone, we are down to 4.  Another hole.

Anytime a life ends, there is a hole, because only that life did some things.  The rest of us try to make that hole a little smaller, anyway we can.  It is too early for me to know what I should take on for Katie.  I do know that I will try to walk more often.

Katie will be missed immensely.  We all Loved her, her stories and her humor, and her perseverance.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Two Event Day

It has been a busy week and today we finished off the week with 2 events.

The little church, that I have talked about before, which is down the road, had their annual reunion today.  John and I were invited because we replaced the shutters this year.

Our road is named  after this church; Cedar Hill Church.  It is a tiny church but today it was filled with about 30 descendants of the people who began the church in the 1874.  The church was also a school at that time for black children since they could not go to school with white children.

In 1927 the people began to move to Lexington and the church was closed.  It was closed until 1965 when a few of the descendants  made some repairs to the church and started having reunions.  Fifty years later, they are still having reunions in August and making sure the church is taken care of.  Everyone was so appreciative of John replacing the shutters.  The previous shutters had been on since 1965.

 I wonder if any of the past residents of the Cabin at Cabin Spring  Farm, went to that sweet little Baptist church.  

After the picnic and service ( a very fun one) we had to get over to the Palmer Ice Cream Social to scoop ice cream.  I have scooped ice cream the past 3 years and consider this one of my community responsibilities.  I should put this on my resumé.  The Palmer Community Center was once a school for the white students. Two historic schools in one day, hadn't thought of that.

A day of Great Food, Great Music, and Great Fellowship.

Charlotte was taking it easy today because she somehow injured her left front leg.  I gave her some arnica and she seemed a little better this evening.  I should have brought her some ice cream.

It is raining and this should make tonight and tomorrow cooler.  I know we will all appreciate that.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Finding an Easier Way

Trying to find an easier way to get pictures to the blog-- this may work.

A series of early morning pictures taken the other day.  I love zinnias.  I also love the leaf of the fig tree.  This is probably the most protected spot on the property.  Maybe we will have figs in a few years.

We ate one peach off the peach tree this year.  The frost got most of the blossoms  and then, of course a few dropped off and were eaten by some lucky animals.  We had ours with some vanilla ice cream.

The goslings have almost made it through that awkward feather/ fluff stage.  Prince likes to follow Cirrus around and act like dad.  John probably likes having another male on the farm (they are way out numbered) but Cirrus has been going after John a little since he is not the main feeder anymore, and Prince is starting to follow suit.

The sheep have been checking out the new fawn that seems like it is all alone.

Still HOT but we are managing.  Good weather to sit in an air conditioned house and figure out an easier way to get photos to the blog. Hum-- I guess another hot day will be devoted to the task but maybe Lyndy will have insight into this.  Here are a couple of recent pictures of her tiny house.

 The blue tape is where kitchen shelves will be.

The floor is done and the electric is all hooked up.  Now there is a working fan and even an air conditioner.

Getting closer to moving time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer Time and the Living is Not So Easy

So just when I was feeling guilty about not writing a blog recently, I went to my blog list and mine was the latest on the list. I guess it is just too hot to think.

It has been an interesting summer.  It seemed sort of typical and then it got hot and humid.  It gets hot here but not for so many days in a row and not SO humid.  The sheep look at me like, when is it going to cool off ? and I just say, "O.K. , I will leave the fan on."

 We are going to have a huge electric bill.  First of all, we have had the air conditioner on most of the day for the last week and a half instead of just a couple of hours.  Then there is the comfort of the sheep to consider.  And the last 3 nights we have had a young newly wed couple spending their honeymoon in the cabin with two  air conditioners going day and night, I think.  ka ching, ka ching. With all of our   comfort features in place we have been comfortable but what about the living creatures that don't have that luxury.  I guess the animals know what to do, if they have the comforts they need available to them.

  I have some friends that do not have air conditioning in their homes.  Maybe they are riding around in their cars or maybe just sitting in front of a fan like the sheep do, sometimes.  We are headed to a wedding, soon, in a place warmer than here.  I think we will be in air-conditioning most of the time but we will still feel the effects, I'm sure.

At least we have been having scattered showers.  Sometimes that cools things off for a short period but then it gets steamy.

I think feathers is the answer.  The geese don't seem to notice the heat and the chickens roll in the hot dust.  I have been trying to get some things done and trying to sweat off some pounds but I have not been very successful on either count.

Occasionally, I can talk myself in to doing more than just barnyard chores in the early hours.  I took a bunch of pictures the other morning and they make things look like everything is lovely.  Well it is lovely-- just hot.  I must try to go through all of those pictures and post a few and remember how it felt, that morning, when the living was easy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Are The Odds?

Back from Chicago!!  It was a good trip except for the 11 hour train delay, going out.  I went to help one of my sisters  pack for a move.  The first 3 delays were for trees on the track.  Apparently, a storm passed in front of us knocking down many trees.  At least I was sitting next to a woman with much in common and we talked about dung beetles and broody chickens.  She even showed me a video she had taken of a dung beetle rolling dung.  What are the odds to find such interesting conversation on a delayed train.  It was amazing. For a video from the internet, see the last post.

While I was gone John took care of the farm.  One night he was doing double duty because a neighbor was away and needed his chicken coop closed.  Somehow, in all the craziness, the coop here, did not get closed that night.  So a predator in the night snatched a chicken.  After that, some of the chickens were afraid to go back and chose bad places to roost.  Now we are down to 4 resident chickens.  One night- what are the odds?

So, my moving sister, found a guy to move her things for a great price.  I packed around 20 boxes and then there were, of course, the furniture pieces that don't get boxed.  I like to kid her by saying, "what are the odds" that her things will make it to their destination.  And if they do, what are the odds that she will be able to find what she needs without opening all the boxes, which she doesn't want to do because she will be moving shortly to another house.

I guess we all take chances, in one way or the other every day. And most of the time things work out O.K.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Gifts of a Summer Night

I love lightning bugs, fire flies, or whatever you want to call the magical beings of summer nights.  Many times I have wanted to try to take a picture with a long exposure and try to capture many at once.  I tried a few things last summer, but nothing came out.

Tonight, I went down to close the geese in and give them some water and one of the gosling's chest lit up, just like some kind of toy.  I took a double take and then saw it again.  I thought it must be that a lightning bug flew in front of the gosling but the light was in the same place for 3 or 4 flashes.  Then Sal laid in front of the goslings as they went to sleep and I couldn't see any more.  She didn't seem to think anything of it.  I thought it was very bizarre and worried that it might hurt the gosling but they  do eat bugs, occasionally, and a fire fly is just that, a bug.  I saw Cirrus eat a regular fly off his back today.

As I turned to leave, I was treated to an amazing light show, with hundreds of lightning bugs.  The strange thing is, now I am sitting on the front porch, and as I look out over the front yard, I have seen 2 or maybe 3.  Instead, I listen to an orchestra of crickets and others.  The middle act was my neighbors cattle, sounding like they were heading out on a cattle drive.  And now the cattle come back in, to join the crickets, being careful not to overpower them.

This is another one of the times when I realize that it doesn't matter, rich or poor, the sights and sounds of summer evenings are available to everyone.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fiber Camp Summer 2016

 It is still really hard to post pictures but here are some finally.

We had 10 campers, a junior camp counselor, and 2-3 adults for both sessions.  Even the chickens joined us.  We had a Super time and it was fun to see some complex projects accomplished.  But where are the pictures of these projects, somewhere.

One of my favorite parts of camp is to see friendships develop and see the encouragement the campers give each other.

Always interesting to have new people join us, as potential fiber artists or assistants.

I love when the kids except challenges, challenge themselves, and make plans.

And then, there are those that like to fix equipment, and build up stock between projects.

I wish this weaving showed up better.  It was quite something.

More wet felting than usual,  you just never know what the kids will want to explore.

And most  like to do there thing regardless or what everyone else is doing.

What a great group of future fiber artists.